The southwest monsoon, which marks the onset of rainfall season in most parts of peninsular India, will hit the southern coastal state of Kerala by May 26, private weather forecaster Skymet Weather said on May 13.
"Skymet predicts that this year, the onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala is likely to be on 26 May 2022 with a model error of +/- 3 days," it said.
According to the forecasting agency, the rainfall this year will be in the "normal" range, to the tune of 98 percent of the long period average (LPA), "with an error margin of +/- 5%". If the prediction turns out to be accurate, this would be the fourth consecutive year when monsoon would be in the normal or above-normal range.
While Skymet has released its forecast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the country's official forecasting agency, is yet to announce the likely dates for the season's onset over Kerala.
An IMD weather bulletin, however, indicated that monsoon would reach Kerala before schedule. The rainfall-laden winds will advance towards South Andaman Sea and the southeast Bay of Bengal at around May 15, the bulletin said. Under normal circumstances, monsoon covers this region by May 22, before advancing towards Kerala on June 1.
The advancement of monsoon towards Kerala was expedited due to Cyclone Asani, Skymet said in its report, adding that "the remnant of this storm, as a depression over peninsular India, has been instrumental in initiating the cross-equatorial flow".
The combined influence has wiped away the anticyclone over the central parts of the Arabian Sea, "an essential condition for ingress of monsoon surge", it further stated.
While Kerala is the first stop of monsoon in peninsular India, the rainfall-laden winds engulf most other parts of the country's mainland by early or mid-July.